Wednesday, October 08, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - October 08, 2008

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New York Times
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-Obama and McCain Clash Over Economy
In a muted debate, Senator Barack Obama faulted a zeal for deregulation, while Senator John McCain offered a mortgage rescue plan. [...] There was no indication that the debate did anything to change the course of a campaign that appeared to be moving in Mr. Obama's direction.

-The Debate
Watch the debate, analyze the transcript, check the facts and share your thoughts.

-Central Banks Coordinate Cut in Rates
U.S. Reduces Key Rate by .5%
The world's major central banks - including the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank - moved together to staunch the financial crisis.

-Politics of Attack
Ninety minutes of forced cordiality during the debate did not erase the dismal ugliness of Senator John McCain's campaign in recent weeks. [...] Ms. Palin, in particular, revels in the attack. Her campaign rallies have become spectacles of anger and insult. "This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America," Ms. Palin has taken to saying.

-Mud Pies for 'That One'
John McCain has long been torn between wanting to succeed and serving a higher cause. Right now, the drive to succeed is trumping any loftier aspirations. He cynically picked a running mate with less care than theater directors give to picking a leading actor's understudy. And he has been running a seamy campaign originally designed by the bad seed of conservative politics, Lee Atwater. [...] The woman is sounding more Cheney than Cheney. [...] Her demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. A recent Washington Post report said at a rally in Florida this week a man yelled "kill him!" as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.

-A Little Less to Worry About
Congress needs to build on the success of the compact that bans the diversion of water from the Great Lakes and take on the long-awaited assault on invasive species.

-30 Civilians Died in Afghan Raid, U.S. Inquiry Finds
A military investigation concluded that recent American airstrikes in western Afghanistan killed more civilians than previously acknowledged.

-Judge Orders 17 Detainees at Guantánamo Freed
Seventeen Uighurs held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, must be freed and allowed into the United States, a federal judge ruled. [...] The judge, Ricardo M. Urbina of Federal District Court, ordered that the 17 men be brought to his courtroom on Friday from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where they have been held since 2002. He indicated that he would release the men, members of the restive Uighur Muslim minority in western China, into the care of supporters in the United States, initially in the Washington area. [...] The government recently conceded that it would no longer try to prove that the Uighurs were enemy combatants, the classification it uses to detain people at Guantánamo, where 255 men are now held. But it has fought efforts by lawyers for the men to have them released into the United States, saying the Uighurs admitted to receiving weapons training in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

-Palin Plays to Conservative Base in Florida Rallies
Standing before a sea of red T-shirts and homemade signs reading "No Communists!" and "Palin's Pitbulls," Ms. Palin on Tuesday nestled in to her Republican base.

-Kenya Detains U.S. Author Critical of Obama

Washington Post
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-Who Is John McCain?
Last night's debate, a town-hall discussion dominated by economic questions, made it clear that John McCain's effort to change the campaign's focus to the culture wars of the 1960s is not going to work. Voters want candidates to talk about problems and how to solve them, especially the enormous ones confronting us now.

The Wall Street Journal
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-Congress Grills Former AIG Chiefs
Lawmakers Ask Whether Executives Glossed Over Warnings About Risks Insurer Faced
Lawmakers portrayed former executives of American International Group Inc. as running a high-rolling organization that glossed over warnings about the risks that helped necessitate a government rescue -- and continued to reward executives even as the big insurer headed toward a cliff.

-Nearly 1 in 6 Owners 'Under Water'
Falling home prices have left nearly one in six owners owing more on a mortgage than the home is worth, raising the potential for more defaults.

-We're Not Headed for a Depression
No, this isn't the crisis that kills global capitalism.

-Russia to Complete Georgia Pullback
A Russian general said the pullout from Georgia would be completed by day's end, as Russian troops withdrew from positions outside the separatist South Ossetia region. [...] The pullback may ease tensions but won't resolve major disputes pitting Russia against Georgia and Western countries, which have condemned Moscow's invasion of the ex-Soviet republic and its recognition of the separatist regions as independent nations.

-The GOP Peddles Economic Snake Oil
Suddenly Republicans are against market values?
OK, let me get this straight: The central axiom of conservative Republicanism is that government is inherently corrupt and can't do anything right. Over many years of ascendancy, conservative Republicans have filled government agencies with conservative Republicans and proceeded to enact the conservative Republican policy wish list -- tax cuts, deregulation, privatization, outsourcing federal work, and so on.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Fed cuts key interest rate
The Federal Reserve and six other major central banks from around the world slashed interest rates Wednesday.,0,7048573.story

Miami Herald
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-N-word has no place in society

Dear Chris Rock:
I apologize in advance for the language that will shortly follow. And yes, there is a certain irony there, given that you are one of the most profane men on the planet. Also one of the funniest. That's why I eagerly anticipated your new HBO special, Kill The Messenger, which premiered a few days ago, even though I knew there would inevitably come a moment that made me embarrassed for you. And sure enough, it came. During your routine, you noted how, last year, the NAACP held a symbolic ''burial'' of the N-word. ''Well,'' you said, through that evil Cheshire cat grin of yours, ''tonight is Easter.'' There followed a long and sometimes labored deconstruction of when, according to you, the word is permissible, all in illustration of your thesis that it is ''context'' that determines whether or not a word is offensive.

-Granting protected status to Haitians is a moral duty
With one million homeless and more than 1,000 dead or missing in Haiti after four back-to-back storms, Haitians everywhere are struggling to recover. Why won't the White House grant them temporary protected status?

Fort Report
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-The GOP goes back to its ugly roots
McCain is resurrecting the GOP's oldest tactic: Smearing Obama as a scary black terrorist sympathizer. But he may meet the same fate as Barry Goldwater. The End of Days is approaching for John McCain and Sarah Palin, and at least one member of the ticket is not likely to greet this development with religious rapture. Their numbers are tanking. Their campaign has had to pull out of Michigan, and they are trailing in most of the battleground states they must hold onto. Even Karl Rove has predicted an Obama win if the election were held today. McCain's hotheaded behavior during the Wall Street crisis and his numerous other erratic tactical swerves have backfired. And his biggest gamble, choosing Sarah Palin as vice president, is increasingly looking like a disaster.

-A 'Terrible' Debate Performance By Brokaw and Organizers
We've come to lower our expectations for real debates in the "debate" process, but this one was terrible. Who picked the questions from the, we were told, six million sent in online plus the dozens from the people in the hall? The first half was fine but then why go into the same foreign policy questions raised two weeks ago -- knowing they were certain to draw the very same, almost word for word responses? After kicking off the debate by saying we were in the worst economic crisis in 80 years?

-America and the New Financial World
Politicians can make the adjustment more or less painful. Soon enough, America's financial crisis will wind down -- maybe in a month, maybe in a year. Yet regardless of when, this crisis marks the beginning of a new era for the U.S. For more than six decades, from the end of World War II in 1945 until now, the U.S. was the hub of global capital and capitalism. In the years to come, it will remain a vital center, but not the center.

-Why McCain's Time With Council Of World Freedom Matters
Since Sunday, Democrats have been buzzing about the re-revelation that during the 1980s, Sen. John McCain served on the board of a far-right conservative organization that had supplied arms and funds to paramilitary organizations in Latin America.

-Alaska to decide if Palin should pay taxes on per diem payments
Governor Sarah Palin's practice of charging the state when she stays in her home must be reviewed to determine whether she should pay taxes on the payments, state Finance Director Kim Garnero said yesterday. Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, released two years' worth of tax returns last week that did not list the per diem payments she received since becoming Alaska governor in December 2006. She collected nearly $17,000 during that period for 312 nights spent in her Wasilla home about an hour's drive from Anchorage, according to state travel records.

Check out Saturday Night Live - VP Debate: Palin / Biden - Video

A 20-year-old Tennessee man has been indicted for hacking into an e-mail account of U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, according to court records. David C. Kernell was indicted Tuesday on a single charge of accessing a protected computer by a grand jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville. The indictment, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine, was unsealed Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Kernell, from Knoxville, turned himself into law enforcement authorities and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. He is the son of Mike Kernell, a Democratic state representative from Memphis. The three-page indictment alleges that Kernell gained access to a Yahoo e-mail account used by Palin, the Republican governor of Alaska, on about Sept. 16. Palin was named Senator John McCain's vice-presidential running mate in August.


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